Have you heard of xeriscaping? What about zeroscaping? The two terms are actually synonymous. Xeriscaping involves the use of drought-resistant landscaping or gardening with plants that do not need as much water to maintain their look. Sounds good, right?
Xeriscaping your lawn may seem like a complex undertaking, but it need not be. Although xeriscaping may use plants that are not indigenous to Texas, the benefits of water conservation can be immense both for our great state and for your pocketbook.
As of September 2013, xeriscaping is now specifically allowed by law in Texas, primarily as a means to help conserve our precious water supply.
Homeowners associations and xeriscaping
Some Homeowners Association (HOA) members recently sounded off to the Dallas Morning News about the new state law prohibiting HOAs from outlawing xeriscaping. (HOAs can still require a landscaping plan for review, but reasonable requests of xeriscaping cannot be denied solely on appearance).
Come to your own conclusions about HOAs and xeriscaping, but consider one HOA member’s request mentioned in the article: know what xeriscaping is, and what it is not. It is not intended to horrify HOAs by allowing your yard and neighborhood to run wild with unsightly weeds and poor landscaping. It is, however, intended to conserve water through a judicious use of drought-tolerant plants.
Take just one look at the possibilities. Statistics show that replacing thirsty lawn grasses with drought-tolerant plants could save 14 billion gallons of water in the next six years alone–that adds some perspective, don’t you think?
Given that the new law permits xeriscaping, perhaps HOA could focus on ensuring that xeriscaping is installed and maintained properly. That way, we’d get the best of both worlds: water conservation and a well-manicured neighborhood.
Some best practice ideas for xeriscaping:
- Learn the HOA restrictions imposed by the September 2013 legislation.
- Check out some xeriscaping advice from the Aggies.
- Discover what drought-resistant plants will work well here in Texas.
- Look into options for stones and gravel to artfully replace grass, especially thirsty St. Augustine and Kentucky bluegrass.
Conserve water through xeriscaping, and help protect utility lines before you dig into your plan by first calling Texas811.